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Exploring VMware Cloud Foundation+

VMware Cloud Foundation 4.5 GA Announcement Last Week confirmed that VMware VCF 4.5 now supports VMware Cloud Foundation+ which included vSphere+ and VSAN+ .

VCF 4.5 has added Migration enablement i.e. the support for Mixed Mode migrations and supports new topologies for migration from VCF 3.x through 4.x and many more add ons and improvement check out the VCF 4.5 Release notes

VMware Cloud Foundation+ has addressed VMware multi-cloud requirements that are changing the IT Infrastructure. VCF+ Also directly address the growing trend to support flexible subscription purchasing mechanisms that provide better predictability and lower costs.

VCF+ uniquely adds new Class of Cloud connected services that is managed through the VMware cloud Console.

When you Click on VMware cloud foundation+ -> you will see option to connect VCF instance

Before we explore the Phase how to connect VCF+ , lets us know the Environment requirements and hardware/Network requirements

Environment Requirements

  • vCenter Cloud Gateway for VMware Cloud Foundation+ is compatible with VMware Cloud Foundation 4.5.

  • You must have an active VMware Cloud Foundation+ subscription applied to your Organization in VMware Cloud services.

  • Your Customer Connect account must be assigned the Organization Owner role in your Organization.

  • A clean deployment of VMware Cloud Foundation must be running in subscription-ready mode. See Deployment Overview of VMware Cloud Foundation.

  • The management cluster of the VMware Cloud Foundation instance must be in a healthy status.

  • An on-premises deployment, upgraded to VMware Cloud Foundation 4.5, must have no more than four workload domains, including the management domain

Hardware Requirements

Before you deploy the appliance of vCenter Cloud Gateway, you must allocate compute resource for vCenter Cloud Gateway in the management domain of the VMware Cloud Foundation instance. The default size of the vCenter Cloud Gateway VM below supports a default limit of four cloud-connection workload domains.

Network Requirements

  • Allocate a static IP address for vCenter Cloud Gateway in the management network.

  • Configure forward and reverse DNS records for vCenter Cloud Gateway, assigning the records to the child domain for the region.

  • Set up external connectivity for vCenter Cloud Gateway to VMware Cloud on outbound port 443.

  • The maximum latency between vCenter Cloud Gateway and VMware Cloud, and between vCenter Cloud Gateway and vCenter Server and SDDC Manager cannot exceed 300 msec roundtrip.

The Journey to connect to VCF+ is mentioned in Six Phase lets us explore what are those phases

Phase 1 : (Prepare)

Before you deploy VMware Cloud Foundation, ensure it meets your business and technical requirements.

  • Learn about VMware Cloud Foundation

  • Connect with your VMware account team to determine if VMware Cloud Foundation meets your business and technical requirements

  • Overview of high level architecture with a VMware Solution Architect

  • Review and approve design decisions with VMware account teams and internal IT teams

Phase 2 : (Purchase Subscription )

Work with VMware sales representatives or a VMware partner to purchase subscription.

  • Contact a VMware sales representatives or a VMware partner to purchase a subscription.

  • After you purchase the subscription, VMware sends you a service activation email in a few days

Phase 3 : (Prepare and Deploy )

Use the Cloud Builder workbook to configure the deployment parameters and then deploy the VMware Cloud Foundation instance on-premises. If you have already deployed a VMware Cloud Foundation instance, skip this phase.

  • VMware Customer Connect: Download and deploy the Cloud Builder OVA

  • Image the ESXi hosts for the on-premises VMware Cloud Foundation deployment

  • Deploy the on-premises VMware Cloud Foundation instance by using Cloud Builder

Phase 4 : (Configure )

Now that the on-premises VMware Cloud Foundation instance has been deployed, connect SDDC Manager to the VMware Customer Connect depot to be able to download software updates, configure the backup of the management components and secure the communication and access to them. If you have already configured SDDC Manager post-deployment, skip this phase.

  • Launch SDDC Manager

  • Follow the instructions to set up the environment

Phase 5 : (Connect ) Connect VCF INSTANCE

Connect your VMware Cloud Foundation instance to VMware Cloud to monitor the data center infrastructure.

Phase 6 : (Subscribe)

Subscribe your VMware Cloud Foundation instance to VMware Cloud Foundation+ to include the data center infrastructure in the subscription and start using the administrator cloud services.

Existing Customers wanted to upgrade to VCF+ there are path to be able to move to VCF+ quickly to enable those customers to support these advance cloud service and new capabilities.

How to upgrade to VCF environment to VCF+ , the environment must be brought up to VCF 4.5 version that is mandatory which is now available . Once Existing customer has there on-premises VCF environment with VCF 4.5 then only a mater of time o connect and configure with cloud Gateway and VMware cloud console. As shown in below figure

Deploy vCenter Cloud Gateway

Next, the vCenter Cloud Gateway appliance needs is deployed.

The new Onboarding workflow within SDDC Manager (which we will discuss shortly) links to the VMware Customer Connect site. Administrators can log in to download and configure the vCenter Cloud Gateway virtual appliance.

Connect vCenter Cloud Gateway to VMware Cloud and SDDC Manager

The VI admin then registers the Cloud Gateway to the VMware Cloud Console. No VPN connection is required. To do this they authenticate to the VMware Cloud over (port 443) using their VMware Cloud account. Following this, SDDC Manager needs to be registered with the Cloud Gateway instance. At this point the VCF+ instance appears in the VMware Cloud inventory.

Complete the Subscription Process

Lastly, the VCF Admin subscribes the VCF+ instance to the VMware Cloud Console. New Workloads domains will be subscribed automatically at the time of creation. The VI Admin can then start to configure and consume services from the VMware Cloud Console.

Subscription Options for Disconnected Environments

For environments that have security requirements that may not support a cloud connected option, there is an option in the form of VMware Cloud Foundation Subscription (VCF-S). VCF-S provides all of the platform benefits of the traditional VCF environments, but there is no cloud connection making it suitable for secure sites or sites that have air-gap requirements.

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